I was at a meeting recently of an organisation that is relatively new and is there to be a voice for an emerging industry.
So we kicked off with the usual intro’s ‘Hi I’m Mary (there wasn’t a Mary) and I’m an accountant (Mary wasn’t an accountant either)’.
By the time we were half way round the table, there was about as much enthusiasm in the room, as there would be, if I’d asked people to volunteer to work a 7 day week for the rest of their lives.
When we’d done, the person next to me pointed out the lack of enthusiasm, and I suggested we went back round, only this time we all said why we do what we do. After the initial looks of horror had eased, we set off.
Interestingly after the first few, people slipped back into talking about their product/service and very little ‘why’, with the exception of the passionate ones, who were able to articulate clearly their reason why they leapt out of bed in the morning.
If you want a head start not only tell your why first, but add your passion to it.
When I left, I was waiting for my colleague at reception, and was talking to Cristal (not Mary) and she asked me what do you do? I said I’d rather tell you why I do what I do, then how I do it and then what I do. She said that was really interesting (clearly being polite!) and then I explained why I answered that way. She replied saying ‘but what you do is important to know’.
I asked her what do you do? ‘I’m a facilities manager’ – so I said she was like 100,000’s of other facility managers all over the world. She obviously didn’t like that idea. I then asked her ‘why do you do what you do?’. She replied with real animation and passion ‘I love people and I am passionate about doing a good job, I like to organise things, variety and serving others….’ Immediately she had changed how I now understood that person. I knew her values were passion, people, variety and structure.
Before all I knew was she managed facilities.
So do not sell yourself short, because when you talk about what matters you will be animated and passionate. If you’re not, then it is not what matters.
Life is about what matters and people connect with genuine passion.